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Moments of Impact: How to Design Strategic Conversations That Accelerate Change [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

Chris Ertel , Lisa Kay Solomon

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11. Februar 2014
In our fast-changing world, leaders are increasingly confronted by messy, multifaceted challenges that require collaboration to resolve. But the standard methods for tackling these challenges—meetings packed with data-drenched presentations or brainstorming sessions that circle back to nowhere—just don’t deliver.

Great strategic conversations generate breakthrough insights by combining the best ideas of people with different backgrounds and perspectives. In this book, two experts “crack the code” on what it takes to design creative, collaborative problem-solving sessions that soar rather than sink.

Drawing on decades of experience as innovation strategists—and supported by cutting-edge social science research, dozens of real-life examples, and interviews with well over 100 thought leaders, executives, and fellow practitioners— they unveil a simple, creative process that leaders and their teams can use to unlock solutions to their most vexing issues. The book also includes a “Starter Kit” full of tools and tips for putting the book’s core principles into practice.

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Moments of Impact: How to Design Strategic Conversations That Accelerate Change + Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
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Strategy is one of the most over-used, poorly understood words in the business lexicon. Ertel and Solomon set out to make it meaningful again, drawing on decades of experience running real strategic conversations. (Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody and Cognitive Surplus)

If you are even remotely interested in 1) having a team that knows what each other is doing, 2) delivering a complex message in a clear way, 3) making sense of the mania that passes for so much of "business thinking" these days, you must read this book. (Dan Roam, author of The Back of the Napkin and Blah Blah Blah)

Solomon and Ertel get it. We need to move beyond the blah blah blah dominating our meeting rooms today. We need strategic conversations - this book shows you how to design them. (Alexander Osterwalder, author of Business Model Generation and Business Model You)

They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. I say that’s also a pretty good definition of the typical business meeting. If you’d like to short-circuit the meeting loop and energize your team’s ability to solve real problems and create new visions, then Moments of Impact is the book you need. (Daniel H. Pink, author of To Sell is Human and Drive)

So many times organizations go to the outside to develop and refine their strategic plans when the answers lie internally. Moments of Impact gives you a roadmap to unlock solutions that are literally in the room. It provides powerful examples and a step by step guide to creating intense engagement and encourages diverse and unique points of view. This leads to a powerful shared vision and strategic plan coupled with a pragmatic execution plan. And, as a bonus, it is a great bonding experience for all involved. (George Borst, CEO of Toyota Financial Services)

What if conversations at work actually mattered? Moments of Impact shows how they can, offering an actionable model for sparking creativity and driving change. (Adam Grant, Wharton professor and bestselling author of Give and Take)

Conversations are how groups of people lear, collaborate and act together, but having powerful, coherent and strategic conversations takes active design and support. Chris Ertel and Lisa Solomon collaborators of mine for many years have provided a practical and insightful guide to shaping consequential strategic conversations. A must read for anyone shaping the decision environment of an organization. (Peter Schwartz, author of The Art of the Long View and co-founder of GBN)

Stories ignite understanding and engagement on our most important strategic challenges. Moments of Impact reveals how to go beyond data-driven meetings to generate new insights that help change our world for the better. (Nancy Duarte, CEO of Duarte Design, author of Resonate and Slide:ology)

We've seen how the power of design can radically change experiences for the better. Moments of Impact shows how design can transform our strategic conversations, too. (Scott Cook, co-founder of Intuit)

“…this is a guide every frustrated meeting-goer should read, with advice they should all implement.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Ertel and Solomon articulate the purpose, principles and practices of well-designed strategic conversations and support their ideas with a lively, convincing mix of social science theories and research, interviews with organizational leaders, anecdotes and case studies, and an invaluable 60-page Starter Kit…to enable you to put the ideas to work immediately.” (Success Magazine)

“Chris Ertel and Lisa Kay Solomon provide several useful tools for making sure all voices are heard--and empathized with--at strategy meetings. You can apply many of their tips to general meetings as well. Refreshingly, Ertel and Solomon remind readers that diversity comes in many forms--all of which are important in business settings.” (

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Chris Ertel has been designing strategic conversations for fifteen years as an advisor to senior executives of Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and large nonprofits. He lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife and daughter.

Lisa Kay Solomon teaches innovation at the groundbreaking MBA in Design Strategy program at San Francisco’s California College of the Arts. A frequent public speaker and guest lecturer, she lives with her husband and two daughters in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.8 von 5 Sternen  26 Rezensionen
11 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Concisely Profound 21. Februar 2014
Von Jarod Holtz - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
There are two types of challenges in our world: 1) Technical Challenges that, however complex and difficult, can be solved using well-honed skills applied to well-defined problems; and 2) Adaptive Challenges that are tangled, poorly defined, open-ended and call for a host of different skills and approaches that are rarely transparent. Which type do you think are the easiest, most straightforward, and intuitive for humans to approach and solve – especially in an organizational setting?

In this volatile, uncertain, seemingly chaotic moment in history making good strategic choices requires harnessing smart people, with different perspectives, in a disciplined but creative way. "Moments of Impact" seems to be the manual for designing collaborative conversations to tackle those seemingly impossible adaptive challenges that by their very nature require much more than a solitary genius searching for a silver bullet in an armory.

Luckily the authors embrace what seems to be a new paradigm for writing brilliant books of consequence which in the past would often require a semester-worth of studying to truly grok. From the table of contents to the chapter summaries and the carefully crafted core principles this design allows for the reader to engage different topics, at multiple levels of detail, and at their pace. For example, the 60 page “starter kit” is a perfect synopsis of how to design a strategic conversation and it’s a quick read. If you can’t find a few hours for it, then you’re probably not interested in strategic conversations that will really work.

A concise but profound read that will change the way you think and act in your efforts related to strategic conversations.
9 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Great strategy. Great book. 27. Februar 2014
Von Thomas Lockwood - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I'm a big believer in strategic conversations, and this book hits the nail on the head. If fact, I've come to think that the lack of true, meaningful, strategic conversations in business may be one of the greatest obstacles any business faces. This book addresses this important leadership skill directly.

I appreciate the way the authors have laid out the steps in creating, managing, and leveraging strategic conversations. Much like design thinking methodologies, they propose very simple, relevant and easy to adopt methods. I particularly like the last section, called "Starter Kit", where the authors give very succinct suggestions for each step in the process, framed around "ask this", "do this" and "try this". I think this simple guideline will be very helpful. I would also like to note that the visual design and information architecture of this book is very well done. Therefore I would recommend this book to any business leader who wants to not only solve problems, but to solve the right problems. Great strategy. Great book.
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen How to replace "time-sucking, energy-depleting meetings and workshops with high engagement strategic conversations" 27. März 2014
Von Robert Morris - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
There are times when all of us find ourselves involved in especially important, usually complicated, and perhaps even upsetting situations, situations that have serious implications and potential consequences. An offsite strategy retreat, for example, or an onsite meeting to formulate a budget, or a free-wheeling brainstorming session to generate ideas to develop, answers to questions or solutions to problems. These and other situations have strategic significance and require careful preparation for what Chris Ertel and Lisa Kay Solomon characterize as "moments of impact."

They cite an excellent example in 2012 when Neil Grimmer, co-founder and CEO of Plum Organics (a baby food company launched in 2007), believed that his company had reached an inflection point. The details are best revealed in the book but, for present purposes, I can reveal that teams were assigned to complete a war-gaming exercise that would recommend a course of action based on the teams' research. They produced a plan that would enable Plum to dominate the organic baby-food market by capturing "both the higher and lower ends with a one-two punch, using separate brands but the same supply chain and distribution networks."

It is possible but highly unlikely that a traditional approach would have succeeded. According to Keith Sawyer, "Decades of research have consistently shown that brainstorming groups think of far fewer ideas than the same number of people who work alone and later pool their ideas," as the two Plum Groups did. As Ertel and Solomon explain, "A strategic conversation doesn't feel like a regular or a brainstorming session. It is its own distinct type: an interactive strategic problem-soling session that engages participants not just analytically but creatively and emotionally.

These are among the dozens of business subjects and issues of special interest and value to me, also listed to indicate the scope of Ertel and Solomon's coverage.

o Welcome to "VUCA World" (Pages 8-10)
Note: VUCA refers to an environment of non-stop vulnerability, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity.
o What Moments of Impact Will Deliver (15-16)
o Lessons from the Godfather of Strategic Conversations: Pierre Wack (19-23)
o The Five Core Principles of a Well-Designed Strategic Conversation (26-29)
o Key Differences Between a Well-Organized Meeting and a Well-Designed Strategic Conversation (33)
o The Three Types of Strategic Conversations (41-52)
o The Picture in the Puzzle Box (80-81)
o Four Framing Pitfalls (81)
o Frames That Propel the Conversation Forward (96-98)
o Get a "Shell Space" That Works & Next, Make It Your Own (101-106)
Note: One of the best is Room 20 at MIT, generally characterized as "utilitarian" and "Spartan."
o An Agenda Is Not an Experience (118-120)
o The Emotional Design of Strategic Conversations (127-128)
o Memorable Experiences Can Trigger the Desire to Act (137-138)
o Designing Strategic Conversations as Moments of Impact (163-164)
o Creative Adaptation Beats Creative Destruction (166-167)
o Starter Kit (173-232)

I commend Ertel and Solomon on their skillful presentation of material that focuses on various key practices: Define Your Purpose, Engage Multiple Perspectives, Frame the Issues, and Make It and Experience. In this instance and indeed throughout the book, they identify a "what" and then devote most of their attention to explaining "how" and "why."

In a concluding chapter, "Make Your Moment," they suggest several key points to be kept in mind:

o Start with a "ripe" issue (i.e. one about which there is a sense of urgency)
o Fight for the time necessary to do it right (but never waste time)
o Lead with empathy for everyone involved
o Put all the core principles to work
o Simplify, simplify, simplify (channeling Albert Einstein: "Make everything as simple as possible but no simpler.")
o Start small, then build
o Prep like hell (channeling Sun Tzu: "Every battle is won or lost before it is fought.")
o No kamikaze missions! ("Never lead a strategic conversations where the basic conditions for success aren't met.")

When concluding their brilliant book, Chris Ertel and Lisa Kay Solomon observe, "Designing great strategic conversations is challenging and rewarding work that can also be fun. Most important, it's one way that just one way that one person can have an outsize impact on the future of an organization -- and beyond. So go ahead, make [begin italics] your [end italics] moment. And when you do, don't be too surprised that you're pushing on an open door."

I agree while presuming to add that it's nice to know that, meanwhile, you are also well-prepared to open a door that is closed and locked...or to find another.
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Don't just read it, Use it 18. Februar 2014
Von Steven Weber - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
Moving people from point A to point B in their thinking is probably the most important activity human beings engage in.
I've tried to learn how to do that better from the scientists, who have a set of abstract arguments about human nature and communication and persuasion ; and from the 'magicians', who just seem to know intuitively how to do it, and continually surprise me with just how good they are.

I've often wondered if someone could synthesize those two perspectives and make the results accessible to and usable by normal people like me, who are just trying to get better at it, and enjoy the process more.

Chris Ertel and Lisa Solomon have done it. This is a wonderful book that is a pleasure to read and from which just about everyone will learn, but that's not the point. The point is to use it.
6 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Tenfold return on investment in this book 19. Februar 2014
Von Tim Clark - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Just one of the tips from this terrific book immediately rewarded me with at least a tenfold return on the time and money invested in reading it. The authors demonstrate that turning points in strategy hinge on psychology or theater as much they do on analysis or technical skills. Best of all, they lay out the specifics of how to do it yourself. Bravo!
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